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Started by apparition13, February 01, 2005, 03:59:30 PM
QuoteInitially, I was really excited about the character creation system. It allowed for a lot of flexibility on the player's part, yet kept them from creating unrealistic characters. It makes you make well-rounded characters, the hope of all games, yet gives you plenty of choices to make him your very own, without forcing you into ridgid classes. I liked that idea. But something occurred to me after making a couple of characters, and helping my players make theirs. One player of mine noticed a huge flaw, and after that, I couldn't view it as a viable creation system anymore. Here's why. As you create your character, you must assign priorities to various aspects of him or her, including race, attributes, social status, etc. using letters from A to F. This is fine and dandy, but what this means is that the knight, who must take at least a B in social class, will be less educated, have fewer attribute points, fewer advantages, and be worse in combat (combat skills are separate from other skills - I'm not sure why) than the slave! It's true. If you make a slave, his attributes will be higher, he'll have more skills at lower (better) levels, and can have a cool advantage or two to boot. For a system that brags how realistic it is, this seemed rather funny to me.
QuoteCombat is a large section of the book, and it should be. It was quickly apparent that the more you were familiar with the system, the better you would be at it, which is cool, but then a player brought up a good point. Why does my combat skills as a player matter to my character in combat? The answer is - it shouldn't. This is a role-playing game, after all. My ability to use the combat system should have no bearing on my character's ability to fight, but unfortunately, it matters a lot. To prove a point, one new player with a sword battled a more experienced one with just a dagger, and was trounced 5 out of 5 bouts, due to player skill alone. This was a surprise and major reason to take a closer look at this game.
QuoteIf a player is better with the combat system than the GM all opponents that player faces are worse than that player's character.That kind of doesn't make much sense.As a player versus player skirmish game the reliance on player skill is fine. As an rpg it leaves much to be desired.
QuoteAbsolutely the game can be faulted for that. That's because TROS advertises its realistic combat system as a selling point. Relying on player skill rather than character skill is not realistic, and leads to metagaming which in turn encourages poor RPing.In short, I find the system little more than an RPG skeleton wrapped around Mr. Norwood's pet combat simulator. There is nothing wrong with simulation gaming using a combat simulator....but I do not consider that roleplaying.
QuoteHelstorm wrote:-------------------------------Yes, but while the SAs influence combat, what the author is really saying is that Spidey isn't heroic when he's not rescuing Aunt May, which makes no sense.-------------------------------I haven't seen the game (so take this comment with a grain of salt), but I suppose it would depend on how big the increase in ability is.Spider-man to Spidey rescuing MJ isn't that big a jump. However, something like Bruce Banner to the Hulk is a big leap, and may be a better example of what the reviewer intends.If the character is "Bruce Banner" normally, but turns into the Hulk if an SA hits, well, that does sound a bit weird to me. It seems to a question of degree to me.
QuoteIf the character is "Bruce Banner" normally, but turns into the Hulk if an SA hits, well, that does sound a bit weird to me. It seems to a question of degree to me.That's kind of what happens, yes...
QuoteI think the only RPG that has approached combat similarly is Swashbuckler from Jolly Roger Games. The two games have a lot of similarities. (1) They share a commitment to the intensity of combat in terms of player identification with the process, in part through the players choosing specific maneuvers, in part due to simultaneous resolution. (2) They have no "hit points:" - people hit the dirt by failing attribute rolls, which gets easier to do as resisted hits accumulate. (3) Skill values do not stack to increase fighting proficiency; the mechanics for skill use and those of fighting are almost entirely separate.The main difference between the games is instructive. Swashbuckler combat is largely defined, exchange to exchange, by whatever moves were performed in the previous exchange. Each maneuver has a limited range of possible following maneuvers, and the authors did an exceptional job of picking "flows" that match cinematic sword combat. Just where a blow lands, or what combination of blood loss and pain takes a combatant down, are handled through Drama.By contrast, The Riddle of Steel combat is largely defined, exchange to exchange, by whoever hit or didn't (retained or gained initiative), and by the specific damage done to a specific body part, defined mainly through attendant shock, pain, and blood loss. Just how a blow (taking or receiving) feeds into the body postures and the next exchange's options is handled through Drama.They both work. They both achieve an immediacy of decision-making within the context of specific maneuvers that role-players often crave. And to my way of thinking, both benefit from leaving certain aspects of the combat events open to colorizing through Drama, rather than nailing down every last detail procedurally. However, exactly what is formalized, and what is left "open," is the opposite for these games.
QuoteI don't know for sure, but it seems to me as if the system may have begun strictly as a Gamist enterprise, that is, a combat-only pocket-style game for two players.
QuoteI agree entirely. Attempts to use TROS for Simulationist terms have been unsatisfactory at best.
QuoteThe game seems focused on Task Resolution, which I guess goes well along with the combat system, but I'm a huge fan of conflict resolution systems, has anyone experimented with changing the basic resolution system?
QuoteI'm not speaking for Ron, but I consider the sim elements to be the skill system (improve it by using it), the encumbrance stuff, the extensive items list, the differences in all the weapons, and the detailed "what happens if you hit this location" charts, not to mention the careful attention to "what it's like to live in such a time" in the text.
Quote from: apparition13In other words, the game is percieved to be supportive of Sim play/decision-making, but as the examples demonstrate players with Sim preferences dislike aspects of the game because they don't support their preferences. They don't get the game, which leads me to conclude the label of sim is misapplied to TROS.
QuoteI know this is thick with Forge jargon and I apologize deeply. It is late and I am tired so I will have to resign myself to being a poophead. Fret not, there are better mannered posters here than I!
Quote from: a13From what a couple others have said here I think there is some agreement that SAs facilitate nar play and combat has a gamist facilitating element (though SAs still rule).
QuoteYou could play the game in a gamist fashion, where the GM tweaks out opponents, and you try and win with only X dice left in your pool, picking the right maneuver, and so on. But after that TROS has nothing going for it to support gamist play. No guidelines for the GM on how to set up tough encounters, no suggestions on maneuver combos (at least I don't recall any), nothing like that.
Quote from: TimothyBut I will also take this a step further. The idea behind TRoS (ie, premise) is "What will you kill/die for?" Because combat is so deadly and complicated, it encourages people to avoid it unless their SA's are firing. In other words, they won't fight unless the fights about something that's important to them. Thus the deadly and complicated combat system actually play into the Nar elements of the game!
Quote from: ApparitionWhile my intuition is that TROS interferes with sim play I am as of yet unwilling to state that categorically because, just as with combat, Sorcery looks simmy. So, once again, how does sorcery play? Which CA dominates decision making? Is it sim (look at this cool spell I designed), game (allocation of spell pool to casting/resisting) or nar and those SAs? Is the sim appearace of sorcery, like combat, an illusion or does it actually play out as sim in this case?
Quote from: NoonNow, I wonder if I should start a post on how Rifts is missclassified as gamist, and how it's sim with only opportunities for unsportsmanlike gamism.
QuoteApparition has already said it should be NG, he's not arguing about that (as far as I can see)
QuoteI'm on the fence with TROS, not least because I think the mode of play can change from minute to minute. I certainly think the SA's and the Nobility trade-off* are a huge problem from a sim perspective. But, most of the game seems to have been written from a presumed sim aesthetic, in my eyes.